UP confers honorary degree on former SEARCA Director Emil Q. Javier

  • By Nathan P. Felix
  • 9 March 2021

Dr. Emil Q. Javier, National Scientist and former SEARCA Director, receives his honorary degree from UP President Danilo L. Concepcion.Dr. Emil Q. Javier, National Scientist and former SEARCA Director, receives his honorary degree from UP President Danilo L. Concepcion.

In a prestigious ceremony held at the Charles Fuller Baker Hall, the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) on 6 March 2021, the University of the Philippines (UP) Board of Regents conferred a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, degree upon Dr. Emil Q. Javier, National Scientist and former Director of the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA).

The honorary degree is conferred to an eminent individual with integrity who “has distinguished himself in the field of law, justice administration, governance, leadership, or public service, through outstanding work, or of exemplary service to the community-at-large.”

The University honors Dr. Javier’s outstanding contribution to Philippine agriculture and across the Southeast Asia region as a recognized National Scientist, agricultural scientist, epitome of research and development, and champion in agricultural and rural development.

Dr. Javier served as SEARCA Director in 1983-1984 during his second term as the UPLB Chancellor. He also served as UP President from 1993 to 1999.

In his introduction, Dr. Eufemio T. Rasco, Jr., Academician and Chairperson of the National Academy of Science and Technology-Agricultural Sciences Division (NAST PH-ASD), said Dr. Javier “has touched and continuous to touch many lives, in the most impactful ways, as a recognized pioneer in research of past theorems for crop science in the Philippines.”

Dr. Rasco also lauded him for his “professionalism, integrity, and ability of exceptionally creative public service to the nation who provides leadership, inspiration and direction to the broad communities of scientist, educators, public servants, and agriculturalists.”

The Academician also emphasized that while holding the SEARCA Regional Professorial Chair for Forage and Pasture Technology, Dr. Javier won back-to-back awards and recognitions from the Philippine Society of Animal Science (PSAS) in 1973 and 1974.

In his legacy lecture, Dr. Javier chose “lifting the bottom half” as the theme for his address. He dwelt on six reforms which the University has to undertake to push agriculture forward.

These recommendations focus on reinforcing the social sciences in the campus; elaboration of schemes to consolidate small farmers into more efficient, larger management units; re-orientation from production, supply-push efforts into demand- and market-driven supply chains plans and programs; active participation in the crafting of industry road maps, and enhancement and diversification of exports; more efforts in value-adding and food and beverage manufacturing, managing the trade-offs between farming intensification and care of the environment, and development and adoption of the new disrupting technologies.

“It is therefore incumbent upon us to rationalize where we had been wanting, what we could have done better. And now, very importantly, to resolutely address the reforms we need to undertake to lead agriculture forward, make it more productive and competitive and improve the lot of small farmers and their households,” said Dr. Javier.

The conferment ceremony was attended by UP Regents; officials of the UP System and UPLB led by UP President Danilo L. Concepcion and UPLB Chancellor Jose V. Camacho, Jr., respectively; and members of NAST PH, including Dr. Glenn B. Gregorio, Academician and SEARCA Director.